Trevor Rees spent his youth racing sailing dinghies and keel boats in Cape Town. At the age of 17 he obtained a ride as navigator on a 50 ft. ketch sailing to the Caribbean. Over the next seven years he worked in various roles, including charter boat skipper and manager of a bareboat company out of Saint Thomas. During this time he also got married and acquired a 36ft fibreglass ketch.
His lifelong ambition was to sail all the way round the world and in 1985 he and his wife set sail for the Pacific.
As with any ocean trip, you do have some adventures. One of the more remarkable stories was the birth their first son during bad weather, five weeks premature, two days from land and half way between Bora Bora and American Samoa.
Coming into any anchorage as they cruised the islands they would have everyone confused. Their boat had a French name “La Jonquile”, it was registered in the British Virgin Islands, Trevor, although being South African, was travelling on an Irish Passport, his then wife, Katie, was Canadian/American, and one small boy of no nation.
After two and a half years cruising through the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, the family arrived in Australia in 1988. His wife, Katie, was expecting their second child and it was decided it was time to settle down. The Whitsunday Islands were a logical choice.
Trevor obtained work straight away in the charter industry. He worked with three different charter companies over the years. The last position was manager of a small company called Whitsunday Escape. In 1999 he was given the opportunity to buy into the company, where he remains today. The laid-back yet professional theme has carried through to today, making Whitsunday Escape the premier charter company of choice for investors and guests alike.
Time, family, team members etc have moved on, but the legacy they have all implanted into Whitsunday Escape carries on. When asked where the Midas touch for Whitsunday Escape comes from, Trevor’s reply is.
“It’s the small things that matter. The maintenance and condition of our boats is priority. Low breakdowns means satisfied guests and profitable boat owner investors. The genuine passion of the staff combined with the vibe and stunning natural beauty of the Whitsundays ensure that Whitsunday Escape delivers the whole package.”
Trevor has been actively involved with many tourism and community groups over the years, current roles include being a board member of Tourism Whitsundays, member of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee, President of the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association (WBOA) and a board member of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO). Previous high profile roles include Chairman of Whitsunday Marketing and Development where he helped negotiate the split to create the present Tourism Whitsundays.